Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tis the season

Ah, local politics.

I'm voting for Bleep 'cause Blorp took Blip's girlfriend when he was away at fooball camp in the 11th grade.

Blorp's is related to my wife's husband's mother in law, so I gotta vote for him.

Bleep used to live in Hooville but he moved to Thereville so I can't vote for him.

I heard Blorp hates cats so that does it for me.Can't vote for him.

Bleep goes to that know...That church. I just can't vote for him.

Blorp don't go to church. Can't vote for him.

Bleep's wife is a real, uh, bleep. Can't vote for him.

I heard Blorp made a lot of money. You know what that means.

I heard Bleep don't pay his bills. You know what that means.

You-know-who is FOR Blorp...I just can't vote for him 'cause of that.

You-know-what is against Bleep...I just can't vote for him because of that.

You-kno-who did you-know-what with you-know-who-else's wife...Can't vote for him.

You-know-who-else's wife got know...can't vote for him.

Yeah... Or that other one neither...

Yeah...Not him or him, or that other one neither. Just ain't no good.

Uh Huh...Who you like in the Shurf race?



"You know Ann Coulter? She was on CNBC today and she said 'Bill Clinton is gay.' Please, just because she's the only woman on the planet he wouldn't have sex with doesn't make him gay." --Jay Leno

"A Tomahawk cruise missile fell off a truck in the Bronx this week. A cruise missile, isn't that unbelievable? You know what that means? There are now more weapons of mass destruction in the Bronx than there are in Iraq."

--Jay Leno

"Condoleezza Rice was in Rome and she visited the Vatican and all the priests were very happy to see her. And everybody kept asking her 'What's it like to be celibate?'." -

-David Letterman

. . . It is inevitable that you are indebted to the past. You are fed and formed by it. The old forest is decomposed for the composition of the new forest. The old animals have given their bodies to the earth to furnish through chemistry the forming race, and every individual is only a momentary fixation of what was yesterday another’s, is to-day his, and will belong to a third to-morrow. So it is in thought. Our knowledge is the amassed thought and experience of innumerable minds; our language, our science, all religion, our opinions, our fancies we inherited.. . . Our country, customs, laws, our ambitions, and our notions of fit and fair,–all these we never made; we found them ready-made; we but quote them......


Friday, July 28, 2006

I can't help myself...Too funny!

I try to be funny sometimes and about one out of twelve times I try, I am. Try as I do, I just can't keep up with the real life Republican comedy show.
Thanks to the help of the American corporate media, Sex scandals have stuck to democrats and not Republicans up until recently. Anybody who can still talk about the "Left wing media" after the news that a male prostitute posed as a fake reporter at presidential news conferences and spent between 100 and 200 nights in the Whitehouse is fooling themselves. Let me try to put this in perspective for you:

1. News about a consensual, though highly improper, relationship between heterosexual adults is plastered all over every op-ed page in America.

2. News about a gay prostitute turning tricks in the Whitehouse...La la la, I can't HEAR you...

Republican Yachts with prostitutes... Republican Poker games with prostitutes... Lobbyists now own entire streets in our Nation's capital, bought with carloads of cash and whores to Republicans...But what do we hear? That Bill Clinton has way too much of a heterosexual sex drive so he must be a latent homosexual? This clinical diagnosis, by the way, comes from foul mouthed, far right wing, Republican Ho, Ann Coulter.

While the FundXtians try to pretend that the only sex god allows is within marriage and only to produce babies, the political party they elected to power is headed by gays, run by gays, served by johns, and has abandoned every concept of basic human goodness espoused by the greatest Liberal of all time...

Jesus Christ.

But they still leave us laughing! Try this one from the great frozen state of Minnesota:

Norm Coleman is under investigation in the Abramoff scandal holding on to "Unindicted co-conspirator" status so far.

United States Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) has often said his DAd is one of his personal heroes...He had a little run in with the law and now he's one of MY personal heroes, Too!

"Police responded to a call early Tuesday evening and arrested Norman Bertram Coleman Sr. and the woman, Patrizia Marie Schrag of St. Paul, outside a pizza restaurant on the eastern edge of downtown St. Paul."

"The 81-year-old father of U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman [(R-MN)] was cited for lewd conduct and indecent exposure Tuesday for allegedly having sex in a vehicle with a 38-year-old woman, according to a police report."

Come on, People! Give a guy a break. An 81 year old guy scores with a 38 year old chick and somebody calls the police? I can hear the music...

"If the The Van is a Rockin'..Don't bother knockin'"

Mr. Coleman and a MS. Patriza Marie Schrag, of St. Paul, MN were arrested outside a Pizza restaurant.

Norm Coleman Sr. happens to be a decorated World War II veteran. As a matter of fact...He is a Veteran of...

The Battle of the Bulge!

America should be proud of it's veterans, Senator Norm! ...At least your Dad is only screwing his girlfrind!



Thursday, July 27, 2006

There's no denying it now...

Greenwald, via Kos:

" exchange for the thousands of lives lost, hundreds of billions of dollars squandered, and destruction of U.S. credibility as a result of our invasion, the best we can hope for is what we already had -- a situation where Al Qaeda cannot run free in Iraq -- along with a vicious civil war and control by Iranian mullahs over most of Iraq. And that is what one of the leading neconservative advocates of the war is saying.
Americans have long ago recognized what even David Frum (though, notably, not Joe Lieberman) now admits -- that our invasion of Iraq will produce no real benefits and that our continued presence there can achieve nothing..."

"When Howard Dean, in the wake of Saddam Hussein's capture, questioned whether the invasion of Iraq would make the U.S. "safer," he was ridiculed by virtually everyone as a radical and a lunatic, with the ridicule led by Joe Lieberman. But reality has become too overwhelming for all but the most manipulative political figures to deny. As a result, there are very few people left willing to defend the invasion and occupation as anything other than a disaster, but the remaining holdouts happen to be sitting in the White House (and in one of Connecticut's Senate seats)."

In an upsetting development...Floyd Landis has tested positive for excess testosterone...He has requested a retest but has been suspended from Team Phonak pending the results.

I will not make any guess as to the outcome but it will be extremely disappointing if it stands.



We need a new religion

Huey Lewis wrote "I need a new drug" but I think a new religion is in order. I'm not talking about a philosophy or a belief system...I'm talking religion. The ones we have now can't seem to get along. I have boiled several thousand years of religious evolution down to a few thoughts. I'm sure I piss off everyone but here goes anyway.

1. There was the Sun God thing as nomadic tribes settled down at the watering holes in the desert.

2. Being at the wrong end of the slave/master food chain thing, Moses, being an ambitious kinda guy, broke loose and rewrote "How the world began" making himself the Pat Roberts of his day, only with better leadership skills and his own policemen.

3. A bunch of centuries later, the Pharisees got conquered by the Romans, as did everyone else, and were busy being self centered middle managers concentrating way too much on the bottom line. The eye for an eye stuff was causing a lot of problems, and they were crucifying pretty much anybody who pissed them off or stole something.

4. Jesus discovered the basic tenets of Budhism and tried to get everybody to be nice...Got crucified.

5. Mohammed saw what Jesus had done and figured, "Good idea, bad execution" and wrote his own version moving himself to the top of the food chain as god's chosen. After all, if Moses could do it....

6. A couple of thousand years later, the "Play nice" stuff that Jesus had tried to impose on the Old Testament folks has melted away prety much all over the world, although there are lots of people who claim to be christians, pound their fists on the ten commandments, and ignore the fact that Jesus had nothing to do with that part of that bible.

7. There's too many people, with too little land, making too many babies, with too many guns, sitting on too little oil.

8. Who's gonna write the next part?



Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Usual Suspects

From Molly Ivins:

One time in the Johnson years, LBJ called on Moyers to say the blessing at a dinner.

“Speak up, Bill,” Lyndon roared. “I can’t hear you.”

Moyers replied, “I wasn’t speaking to you, sir.”


Few issues have had as much lobbying money spent or as many lies told (outside of the run up to the Iraq war) as has Internet Neutrality. Here's an overview:

...(This) number gives you the sense of the scale of lobbying involved, $42 million. That’s the amount a study by the pro-net Neutrality coalition estimated the opponents of Net Neutrality spent in the first six months of this year. That total includes TV and print ads from AT&T, Verizon, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, U.S. Telecom Association, Hands Off the Internet, TV4US (the campaign for streamlined entry for telephone companies to get into the cable business) and MyWireless, a cellular campaign.

TPM Cafe

And via Wonkette...

Ann Coulter? (Who, by her own account, is pretty rampant herself)

Ms. COULTER: I think that sort of rampant promiscuity does show some level of latent homosexuality.
DEUTSCH: OK, I think you need to say that again. That Bill Clinton, you think on some level, has — is a latent homosexual, is that what you’re saying?

Ms. COULTER: Yeah.

The only thing sadder than things like this being said by right wing mouth that the Right wing eats it up.



Monday, July 24, 2006

Leaflet it alone

I've been off doing nonprofit board work and haven't been as much of an irritant on the blog lately. We were in Charlotte, NC where they've built a new "cement pond"...This one has seven gigantic water pumps that crank out a flow equal to the Ocoee River. The engineering is incredible, as is the bureaucratic crap that is holding up the opening of this 37 million dollar whitewater toy. They can't certify it for occupancy because they haven't decided if it is a swimming pool...or a theme park or something. The interest on that is $1,000.00 an hour while the government officials do whatever it is that they do...or don't.

One thing they are doing is saving Marriage...

From our Stupidest quote of the day Department:

"Children who grow up in healthy, stable, married households don't wake up one day and decide they want to run away to Hollywood and become street prostitutes," said Wade Horn, the Bush administration's point man for welfare reform. "Couples in a healthy, stable married relationship don't come home one day and decide they want to abuse their children. This, in my view, is an exercise in limited government."

I can't say anything that would indicate the mindsplitting idiocy of that than it does all by itself.

The Bush government is spending our money promoting marriage...with leaflets.

The American Bar Association has what I consider to be the understated quote of the day"

"The President's constitutional duty is to enforce laws he has signed into being unless and until they are held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court or a subordinate tribunal," panel members wrote. "The Constitution is not what the President says it is."

Well, I'll be danged...Nixon said it was, why can't George?



Saturday, July 22, 2006

Why are they Fighting?

Well, this time, anyway

Somehow, we are led to believe that Israel is the good guy and Hezbolah is the bad guy and if the infrastructure of Lebanon has to be destroyed, it's all Hezbolah's fault because they kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. What is never heard on Fox news is that the Hezbolah act was in response to an Israeli offense, and so on. I find both groups repulsive and see nothing to be gained by supporting Israel or Hezbolah. Lebanon is the loser here.

...Gaza, itself, the latest phase, began on June 24. It was when Israel abducted two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother. We don't know their names. You don’t know the names of victims. They were taken to Israel, presumably, and nobody knows their fate. The next day, something happened, which we do know about, a lot. Militants in Gaza, probably Islamic Jihad, abducted an Israeli soldier across the border. That’s Corporal Gilad Shalit. And that's well known; first abduction is not. Then followed the escalation of Israeli attacks on Gaza, which I don’t have to repeat. It’s reported on adequately.

The next stage was Hezbollah's abduction of two Israeli soldiers, they say on the border. Their official reason for this is that they are aiming for prisoner release. There are a few, nobody knows how many. Officially, there are three Lebanese prisoners in Israel. There's allegedly a couple hundred people missing. Who knows where they are?

Chomsky Interview



Thursday, July 20, 2006

The New Gropenator?

It is so hard to know what is going on in our country. Anybody who still thinks there's a liberal bias to the media can rest assured there's not. Had Bill Clinton tried to give a back rub to the German Chancellor, it would have been story number one for weeks. As it is, America learned about it from its comedians. You wanna know what your government is doing? Watch Jon Stewart. Forget about CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS. And Fox News? Fair and balanced?

Fox new standards are something like "All praise to his majesty, the President." There's no word on the President of the United States of America getting drunk and making an ass of himself before the entire world...but didja know that...

World War Three is happening?

Dang straight! Bill O'Reilly and Newt Gingrich said so.

Now enough of the small stuff, here's the one issue that scares me the most of all the current travesties and outrages being committed by George Bush. George Bush himself says that the Justice Department cannot investigate his domestic spy operation because it's too secret. The people at Justice, who handle all sorts of CIA spy investigations by the way, can't get security clearance high enough...Why?

"It's a secret" said the President as he posed with a pig.

Vice President Cheney gets drunk and shoots some guy and Vice President Cheney has this security clearance...

Anybody with a brain can figure out they're hiding someting they really don't want us to know...well ok, that's an exaggeration...Not much of a brain is necessary...Even the somatic cells in your average glob of slime mold are looking at each other and nodding knowingly..."Hiding something big!" the slime mold cells are saying to each other. "Don't have to have a brain to see that...or eyes either."

A senior Justice official said that the refusal to grant the clearances was "unprecedented" and questioned whether the clearances were denied because investigators might find "misconduct by those who were attempting to defeat" the probe from being conducted...

Misconduct? those who were attempting to DEFEAT the probe? And who might this "DEFEATER" be?

The liberal media is trying to keep you from finding out who this "Defeater" is by not telling you.

"Hey! Look over there! it's World War 3!...Oh my god!..But don't worry citizens...We'll fight it over there so you won't have to fight it over here. Things will be are getting sleepy...George Bush is Not the Defeater...George Bush is Not the Defeater!"


You know, there is a big difference in the way that danged liberal media treats George and the way they treated Bill Clinton...But there's another thing everybody with a brain knows, and those others too...

When George Bush gropes a woman, who may or may not be the head of a powerful foreign nation, we can see by the photographic evidence that she repulses his advances with a preventative maneuver she learned in rape prevention class.

Well done, Angela...

But what happens when Bill Clinton makes his move on a woman? ...She likes it.



Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dubya Dubya III

Yesterday was weird. Newt Gingrich announced World War Three and said it was a very good thing, George Bush acted the complete ass at the most important meeting of world leaders in 2006, Ralph Reed delcared defeat in the Georgia Lt. Governor's primary, and...after viewing the video, Bill Frist declared stem cell research....

Dubya's foul mouthed complaining to Tony Blair about those darn Syrians with his mouth full is all over the internet, as is the backrub he gave without permission to German Chancellor Merkel. That would be German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and you can judge for yourself how much she liked it.

Here's another picture of Dubya from All Hat no Cattle. That's our boy! Does that bottle on the table in front of him tell you anything? Didn't he get the memo from Newt? World war three is going down right now. Well I shouldn't be so tough on Dubya. If you manage to start a world war you have a right to celebrate a little before you fly home and use the first veto of your presidential career to squash stem cell research.

All Hat No Cattle

And poor old Ralph Reed...

Looks like voters are rejecting Republican candidates who have been caught up in the Jack Abramoff - Tom Delay- Indian tribe gambling - off shore child labor - money laundering - campaign contribution scandals. The Republicans aren't going to be able to even have a primary at this rate. Where are they going to find a candidate that isn't going to be indicted?

And Doctor Frist gets his own theme song...Sing along kids!

They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea!
Everyone loves the king of the sea,
Ever so kind and gentle is he,
Tricks he will do when children appear,
And how they laugh when he's near!
They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea!

Stem cell research is MURDER...Oh it isn't. In the make believe world of Republican videotape, perhaps Dr. Frist can tell us all how stem cells are actually human beings, so Dubya can use the first veto of his presidency in good conscience.



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Neighbor Called...

"Got you a snake" he said. i don't need another snake, we have plenty in the yard, but I have taken to saving reptile lives by relocating the offenders to remote areas. Not sure that works but I feel good about doing it and the neighbors see that rattlesnakes aren't endowed with supernatural powers, they're just another animal. This one was small, about 30 inches, and skinny. The neighbor had taken a pitchfork and lifted it into a bucket, just as I'd described and he was amazed at how easy it was to handle safely at the end of a hickory shaft. Once you get them off the ground, they tend to just hang there, but there are exceptions. Moving slowly and keeping a little space is always a good idea.

My son and I went and picked up the beast and brought it home to the aquarium we have set up for such events. For such a small rattler, this one had 11 rattles and kept them going in a constant buzz. This looked to be an older snake and after thinking about it, I decided there was a good chance that it had recently given birth, which would account for it's depleted nature. After a few days we dropped in a mouse which became food in a matter of minutes. We waited a few days for a good rain and loaded the snake into a cloth sack and then into a bucket for the trip over the ridge. There was a new growth area where a fire had been that was to be the release site. I have no idea whether the snake will stay or travel or get eaten but it had a better shot this way than remaining on the neighbor's farm.

On the way up the creek there was a lot of screeching coming from the trees near the ridge.


I knew there was a nest somewhere because I had seen the adults hauling food on a regular basis. Our national symbol is a lazy thing but they'll do what has to be done in order to get junior out of the house. I didn't mark the calendar but I think it's about 7 or 8 weeks since I noticed the birds carrying fish and road kill upstream. With all the screeching I figured Junior was having the normal learning experience with flight lessons. The parents call to the youngster and the youngster screeches incessantly and then flaps out of the tree. They start up high in the nest so that the baby can glide to another spot with just a few flaps. The glide seems natural but flight flapping takes some figuring out and the first several landings more resemble a train wreck than an eagle gaining its majestic perch.

The trail is heavily vegitated and we could hear them above us but we couldn't see anything. The calls came from several directions. We worked our way past them and went out to the creek's edge and loked around, and there in a low pine was one of the parents, only about 150 feet away. A big white head shining in the evening sun might as well be a flashing light in a green pine tree. we could hear the other birds but couldn't see them. The bucket I was carrying started buzzing so we went on up the trail to finish our true task.

Working our way off the trail and into a suitable spot with good cover, we opened the snake sack (which looks a lot like one of the pillowcases off the guest bed) and carefully slid the rattler out next to a rock. it immediately took the classic pose and buzzed away. It was at that moment, with the rattler all puffed up and stretched out on the leaves that I realized I didn't bring the camera. We left the snake there and the buzz stopped as soon as we got twenty yards away.

Good luck, little beast!

As we returned along our path, we studied the one adult we had seen before and tried to pick out where the youngster was. I figured he was somewhere down low, but they are very dark in color and are difficult to see. We worked our way back downstream listening to the screeching which echoed off the cliffs and seemed to come from everywhere. At each opening I stared at the trees on the other bank, making myself look for dark shapes onlimbs near the trunks of the trees. It takes a stout branch to hold an eagle. Then I saw it. I pointed at the shape well hidden in a scraggly pine tree. We were very close to it and then I realized that there were two of them. Twins!

Well done, Mom and Dad. No wonder you guys were working so hard. Now for the hard part that all parents face...Teaching them to live without you.



Monday, July 17, 2006


Glad to see the House leadership on both sides of the aisle come together in a true expression of bipartisanship!

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is refusing to take part in an event Wednesday night that will include a tribute to former Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.), saying the two men 'have dishonored the House' and 'are unfit to to be honored for their service.'
When told of Pelosi’s objections to having Cunningham’s name mentioned during the event, Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) agreed, saying through a spokesman that 'it would be inappropriate to have a convicted felon on the honor roll.'

The head of the group hosting the event, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, said that he was willing to "skip any mention" of Cunningham during the event. But he would not refrain from honoring DeLay, who to date has not been convicted. (Roll Call) (sub. req'd)


I know it's hard to keep up with all the indictments and convictions going on in our government. At this rate, the Bush administration will pass the previously "Most indicted" administration, that of Ronald Reagan. Here's a place to see how things are going for both parties. I warn you though, that it's hard even for full time political wonks to stay up with all that's happening.

Grand Old Docket

Ministry of Stupid Jobs

Ok, this one has even cynical old me scratching my head.

Let's go back a bit and imagine a conversation between Alberto Gonzoles, Attorney General of the United States, and a Mr. Stuart Baker, then NSA General Counsel. Gonzoles has proposed his domestic spy operation to Baker and Baker points out that it clearly vilates the Constittion. next thing you know, Baker has a new job, paying him $106,641 a year. Stu's new title?

The President's "Director of Lesson's Learned"...

No Freekin' Kidding!

So here we have it...The award winner for "Most NOT Doing his Job in Washington".

Or as the Carpetbagger notes, "The guy...with the most patently absurd title in Washington!"

Here's a quote from the guy:

"In the long term, privacy is doomed", the second International Security Solutions Europe Conference was told in Barcelona, Spain last week by U.S. lawyer Stuart Baker, of Washington law firm Steptoe and Johnson.

"When it's gone, I don't think we will notice", he said.

Now he has a government job?

You know, I try to be funny, but I can't top this stuff!



Sunday, July 16, 2006

Other Voices

I ran across an essay that echoes things I have written about in the past, but it's more coherent and better stated. It starts with a question...

"Ask a conservative what the biggest problem in America is today, and you’ll get answers like overtaxation, a sexualized culture, lack of respect for authority, insufficient church-going or big government running amok. But if you then asked the conservative what the real source of the problem was—the beating heart pumping blood to each and all of these socio-politico-cultural wounds—you’d get the same answer: liberalism.

...The story of American history is that of conservative ideas and prejudices falling away as our society grows more progressive and thus more true to our nation’s founding ideals. Conservatives supported slavery, conservatives opposed women’s suffrage, conservatives supported Jim Crow, conservatives opposed the 40-hour work week and the abolishment of child labor, and conservatives supported McCarthyism. In short, all the major advancements of freedom and justice in our history were pushed by liberals and opposed by conservatives, no matter the party they inhabited at the time.
Conservatism is Bill Bennett lecturing you about self-denial, then rushing off to feed his slot habit at the casino. It’s James Dobson telling you that children need regular beatings to stay in line. It’s a superannuated nun rapping you on the knuckles so you won’t think about your dirty parts. It’s Jerry Falwell watching “Teletubbies” frame by frame to see if Tinky Winky is trying to turn him gay.

Conservatism is everyone you never wanted to grow up to be. .. "

Here is Paul Waldman's excellent essay in its entirety. Read away!

This is another piece that shares a refrain from my own songs:

For perhaps the first time in our history, a significant number of administration officials and supporters, including perhaps the President himself, must keep themselves and their party in power to avoid criminal indictment, conviction, and imprisonment...

Crisis Papers

I haven't visited our Iraqi friend in some time. If there is any deeper indictment of the Bush Administrtion mishandling of American power, it is represented by Riverbend's writing. I invite you to read her early posts as the Iraq war has just begun. Note her concern for American boys in a foreign land. Concern for their parents, wives, and children.

And then read what she writes this past week...

It promises to be a long summer. We're almost at the mid-way point, but it feels like the days are just crawling by. It's a combination of the heat, the flies, the hours upon hours of no electricity and the corpses which keep appearing everywhere...

The pity I once had for foreign troops in Iraq is gone. It's been eradicated by the atrocities in Abu Ghraib, the deaths in Haditha and the latest news of rapes and killings. I look at them in their armored vehicles and to be honest- I can't bring myself to care whether they are 19 or 39. I can't bring myself to care if they make it back home alive. I can't bring myself to care anymore about the wife or parents or children they left behind. I can't bring myself to care because it's difficult to see beyond the horrors...

Why don't the Americans just go home? They've done enough damage and we hear talk of how things will fall apart in Iraq if they 'cut and run', but the fact is that they aren't doing anything right now. How much worse can it get?...




Saturday, July 15, 2006


"Books have this bad habit of talking to each other when we're not looking. Worse, they go off and breed, like hangers in your closet or dust mastodons under the bed."

That's a quote from Cocktail Party Physics

If you have a scientific bent and lots of time, you might want to look at a few posts. Each of the links are an education in the joys of science fiction, my favorite genre after plain old ordinary old science. The problem with SF is that there's a high admisson price, including a good education and critical thinking skills. Some require more than I have to give in thought to follow the plot and sometimes the author will take off into a fantasy that is out of the realm of the possible. The best SF has a solid technical base and simply explores places we as a society have yet to go.

The general public thinks Star Trek is science fiction, but it's actually just fiction. "Di-lithium crystals" neither exist nor do they stand up to any quantum examination of the possible but they were a nice plot device that enabled situations unrealized in earth society so far..such as people of different races getting along together, or even with different species and hybrids such as the pointy eared Spock.

Spock is that most tragic of all creatures, a logical one, and certainly cannot exist in reality. Rationality has become a tragic flaw in humans, and is stomped out at an early age whenever possible by religious and governmental institutions and replaced by an appropriate mythology more suitable for subservience and control.

Science Fiction allows for the exploration of alternative societies and philosophies that we will never experience in our lives. Some futures can be explored, not to promote them but to prevent them, as George Orwell's "1984" tried to do with present America. Nice try, and maybe he delayed it a few decades, but as anyone who remembers Ted Turner's version of CNN and the present day incarnation with hacks and propagandists playing the part of news people, Orwell failed in his preventive efforts.

Science Fiction does not always fail, however, as Arthur C. Clarke fans know. Clarke is the imaginor of the synchronous orbit satellite that lets us have all sorts of modern conveniences, like XM radio, weather satellites, and full time monitoring of your whereabouts via the GPS built in to your cell phone. You did know that it is illegal in the United States to produce a cell phone that does not broadcast its location to the authorities, didn't you? Yes, it's true...George is not only listening, but he knows where you are...and who you're with, as long as you have those little bars showing on your cell phone.

Perhaps we should rename Science Fiction and call it Science Terror. Make sure you remember what the Founding Fathers knew way back then...Big Brother is a sociopath...



Friday, July 14, 2006

Borrowed glory

I read a lot. Here are a few of the things that caught my eye in the last week or so. Some funny, some tragic, but, as the quote from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" shows, there's a lot to entertain a tiny lifeform stuck on the surface of a minor planet as we all hurl together through time and space:

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

"He knew who I was, at that time, because I had a reputation as a writer. I knew he was part of the Bush dynasty. But he was nothing, he offered nothing, and he promised nothing. He had no humor. He was insignificant in every way and consequently I didn't pay much attention to him. But when he passed out in my bathtub, then I noticed him. I'd been in another room, talking to the bright people. I had to have him taken away." -Hunter S. Thompson on meeting George W Bush at Thompson's Super Bowl party in Houston in 1974

"Every GOP administration since 1952 has let the Military-Industrial Complex loot the Treasury and plunge the nation into debt on the excuse of a wartime economic emergency. Richard Nixon comes quickly to mind, along with Ronald Reagan and his ridiculous 'trickle-down' theory of U.S. economic policy. If the Rich get Richer, the theory goes, before long their pots will overflow and somehow 'trickle down' to the poor, who would rather eat scraps off the Bush family plates than eat nothing at all. Republicans have never approved of democracy, and they never will. It goes back to pre industrial America, when only white male property owners could vote." -- Hunter S. Thompson

The role of government is to help create a society beneficial to people. People are the priority. Not corporations. Certainly commerce plays a huge role in the betterment of any great society, but any society that forgets that its primary purpose is to serve the people cannot ever be great.

Senator Byron L. Dorgan, North Dakota

"The science is clear: Secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance but a serious health hazard," said Richard Carmona.

There is no safe level of secondhand smoke -- even a few minutes inhaling someone else's smoke harms nonsmokers, he found. And separate smoking sections, even the best ventilated ones, don't protect enough. Carmona called for completely smoke-free buildings and public places to lessen what he termed "involuntary smoking."

George W. Bush deserves a fair trial. (t-shirt)

"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."
-Thomas Jefferson

"In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams



Tuesday, July 11, 2006


As most of you know, I am helping out with some local campaigns in Roane County. It has been like living in an anthropological research project, listening to why some people are supporting certain candidates and what they believe of the rumors and gossip. It would be fascinating if it weren't so tragic. I want to hold off on some of the inside stuff I'm picking up because it really shouldn't be used in a campaign, but there's some funny stuff so I won't be able to hold it in forever.

I'm waiting for the negative ads to start...

"Van Hillary has failed to tell us where he stands on the torture of family pets! Tell us, Van...How many times did you adopt a kitten in order to cut out its heart like your friend, Bill Frist?...Van Hillary...Wrong on Kitty torture...Wrong for Tennesee!"

...(paid for by Citizens against killing kitties)..and yes, I know I misspelled his name.

So my candidate has received a big union endorsement. But I'm curious...With all the right wing anti union blather, is a Union endorsement good or bad? At one time, there was a great divide between union members and the rest of the work force, but I don't think that stands any more. Neither is the Union endorsement as powerful as it once was, but it does signify a certain mutual respect between the Union and a candidate. It seems to me to be more of a "This person will understand our position and arguments on certain issues" rather than "This guy will give us what we want" as it used to mean.

Anyway, what do you guys think? I'm curious.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Reason # 437

I have stated right here in this very blog that No one should vote for a Republican until they start representing America.

This is hard to do, folks, particularly in a place like East Tennessee where all the candidates running for a particular office may be Republicans claiming to be Independants. We even have a candidate for County Mayor who has publicly stated that he is a Republican to one group and publicly claimed he's a Democrat to another. Most politicians waffle but, dang, this guy may set the waffling bar impossibly high for other would be elected officials who plan to waffle their way into office. If you have to deny your political affiliation to a group of people, how can you possibly represent them with honesty?

But wait...what am I doing? Suddenly I'm thinking of politicians in terms of "Honesty"? I may be depressed because Zidane got thrown out of the World Cup, but even in my current state of despair I know better than to mention honesty in the same breath with a Republican...even a pretend one.

So I plan not to vote for any of them nonetheless. But there are problems. Why, for instance, don't any Democrats want to be Register of Deeds? Why is "Trustee" an elected position in the first place? I mean, if we're gonna elect someone, that means they are a politician...Trustee? Politician? Trustee?...Republican?

Am I the only one who sees a contradiction here?

Since this is so hard to do, I have allowed myself one exception this year. I am going to vote for the most Democratic Republican I've ever met. This guy would be GOP through and through, except he introduced a bottle recycling bill in the Tennessee legislature, voted for every environmental bill, and introduced most of them...Actually, his record makes me question whether he's really a Republican. Maybe he's just a real Conservative, unlike what most Republicans have become.

The main reason I won't vote for Republicans is that they have failed, as a party, to defend government "Of the People, By the People, For the People."

"What do the People have to do with Government?" say the Republicans.

Want an example? Here's one that really pisses me off...

The Bush Administration is trying to sell off hundreds of thousands of acres of land that is yours and mine. In some cases, it is land that was bought by private money and donated to the Federal government in order to protect it, in some cases from developers. In Tennessee, George and his buddies want to sell 3000 acres. In order to follow Federal law on these things they have to ask the public what the public think about this. The public, that would be those "People" I mentioned earlier and includes me and should have included YOU, made over 130,000 formal comments about selling public land. Agriculture Undersecretary, Mark Rey, said that out of 130,000 comments from "The People" there were a couple of real Estate agents that thought selling off the "People's" land to real estate developers was a good idea. The rest of the 130,000 comments from "The People" thought this was a bad idea.

So there you have it:

A few land speculators...FOR...

Everybody else in the country, that would be.."the People"....Against!


Everybody else in the world except a few Real estate people...AGAINST!

So there you have it, My Republican friends. Figured it out yet? You guys have made a mess...Now clean it up!



Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fair and Balanced?

Every day we get more serious warnings from more scientific researchers. It's not fair and balanced to give equal time to a point of view supported by less than one percent of scientists while giving scant coverage to the findings of the other 99%.

Here are the comments on the republican candidates for Tennessee State Senator:

Ex-Mayor Bob Corker: "You know, there are a body of scientists who think what the questioner said is true, there is a body of scientists who think that's not the case. It's just part of the changes that are taking place."

Ex-Congressman Van Hilleary: "Well, I heard Al Gore say the other night that the debate was over, but I'm not sure that he convinced me. He hadn't convinced me a whole lot over the years."

Ex-Congressman Ed Bryant: "I'm not saying that we have to do away with gasoline powered cars, we're going to have to drill where we have to drill, we have to build more refineries out there."

Feeling safer now?...Here's the latest science:

Carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels could overload the seas, researchers say in a new report designed to document what's known about the problem. The report echoes earlier warnings from individual scientists.

“It is clear that seawater chemistry will change in coming decades and centuries in ways that will dramatically alter marine life,” said Joan Kleypas, the report’s lead author and a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. “But we are only beginning to understand the complex interactions between large-scale chemistry changes and marine ecology. It is vital to develop research strategies to better understand the long-term vulnerabilities of sensitive marine organisms to these changes.”

Live Science

OK, I'm actually exaggerating...I apologize. Far less than 1% of scientists think man is NOT having an effect on climate change. Wouldn't the "Conservative" thing to do be to reduce our effect on atmospheric carbon just in case the vast majority of scientists might accidentally be right?

Here's what Harold Ford says:

"It does not matter that the ideas are Democratic or Republican, only that they are good ideas."

"...Good ideas are based on facts, not narrow ideology. Pretending the world's climate isn't changing is like pretending the world is flat, or that men didn't walk on the moon. You can pretend all you like, but it doesn't make it so...

Our climate is changing. The National Academy of Sciences, comprised of our nation's leading scientists, has said so repeatedly. As the National Academy plainly said, "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century."

"...Our opponents, nevertheless, all have embraced ideological extremism over settled science, declaring that global climate change is not occurring, and offering no solutions. This is precisely what keeps the nation from moving forward and solving problems..."



Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Imagine my shock at discovering Tennessee has an official State Fossil!


I was further shocked that it was a clam! I would have thought it should have been this one:

My choice

After all, around 75% of all the coal in Tennessee consists of tree ferns.

Folks who know about tennessee think our state fossil maybe should be this one.


Ah, yes! July Forth in the Heartland...I guess wherever you live in America, you live in the Heartand, but here in Tennessee we even have a TV show that proves this is it...the one true "Heartland".

Well, we could argue that, but everybody knows I don't like to argue...

Yesterday was July 4, 2006 on the bank of the Clinch and Emory and Tennessee River in Kingston. I think it's actually the Clinch River that lies under Watts Bar Lake in Kingston but it's hard to tell. The Emory river is tiny compared to the Obed river which it flows into, and the Clinch is smaller than the Emory, but somehow, Emory trumped Obed and Clinch trumped Emory, and they all come together at Southwest Point with the Tennessee River which trumps everything and heads toward Georgia and Alabama.

Anyway, there we were on the Left Bank of the River in Kingston having a fine old Independence Day celebration. Now as everybody knows, people around here are funny with their money when it comes to local charity. We will send hundreds of thousands off to Memphis but we don't do nearly as much for our own, unless you count Walmart. We have this thing called Operation Reach where all the cops in the county stand around at traffic lights and hold a bucket up to your car window into which you put money for poor kids to spend at Walmart for Christmas. Everybody tries not to look the cops in the eye if the light stays green, but let it turn yellow and you're toast. Try to carry a bunch of ones around with you come December in Roane County so's you don't get popped for a fiver. More on this next Winter.

(I'm kidding, of course...really!)

But if fireworks are involved? Those same roadblocks collect bucket loads of cash. Me? I threw a ten in the bucket...Smiled at the same time...We're gonna blow some stuff up on the lake.

On July 4th, Roane County sounds and looks like a ceasefire in Bagdhad .

On the left bank of the lake, at a place called the gravel pit, we have a big county party with drag boat races and barbecue, and wife beater shirts and halter tops that should never be worn by the people who are wearing them. All the candidates come out and pester the crowd. One candidate even had a country music karaoke singer going at his rv...kept trying to sing to the passers by but they mostly wouldn't look at him.

Our local writer had a booth set up to sell his tell all book about the local Judge and DA and Sheriff. It was located directly across the aisle from the booths of the local DA and the sheriff.

The Judge is awaiting sentencing and isn't running for reelection, though I'm not sure why not. he's backing several candidates, which I don't understand. if the crooked judge comes out for a candidate, doesn't that look bad to you? Seems like it would be the kiss of death for folks who are tired of the sleaze in local politics.

But back to the other fireworks.

We blow things up on July 4th to celebrate our Declaration of Independence and eventual victory over the British back in '77...1777, that is or somewhere in there. it was a long tme ago and I forget. See, the Brits had short fuses back then. I don't mean bad tempers...I mean short fuses. We got a whole National Anthem pointing that out. The Brit Navy was firing at us with explosive cannon balls and, as it turns out, the fuses were too short for the bombs to reach the target, ergo, the famous "bombs bursting in air" phrase... Saved our National rear end, those short fuses did. That banner would never have gallantly waved "by the dawn's early light" if the Brits had switched to metric and got the damned fuse length right. But it inspired an epic poem by Frankie Key which when sung at a small town sporting event can seemingly last for sixteen minutes even if we only have to listen to the first verse. Curse you, Whitney Houston! The damned thing is long enough without all that wurbuling and the extra notes thrown in. Mercifully, we don't have to hear the other three verses any more.

My fuse is much to short to stand that.

Peace and Freedom,


just in case you's a bit on the other verses of the National Anthem, but just in case any of you are in charge of the music program at the highschool...Don't you dare get any ideas.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Come on, everybody, let's Limbo!

Conservative morality is a curious thing.

I wonder how many people consider the source when choosing a news spokesperson. Wingers seem to hate Dan Rather but he seems to have his personal life in good order. Bill Moyers catches all sorts of hate from the right, but most folks would think he's a marvelous person and would welcome him into their family as an extra uncle or even a grandfather. My kids don't have one of those so we could take on a spare with no problem. wouldn't it be nice if they could sit next to Grampa Bill at family reunions and ask him questions?

I can almost hear them..."Why do you think President Clinton began the expansion of NATO into the former Soviet Nations after he promised he wouldn't, Grampa Bill?" they would say excitedly, before moving on to, "Is the American promise of religious tolerance just a utopian dream, Grampa, or can it come to fruition if Progressives can take a majority of both houses?"

Now imagine having a Conservative talking head as a relative...Rush Limbaugh and his third ex wife sitting in the Florida room next to your children...They could discuss the ins and outs of prescription drug abuse, maybe..."How much money did it cost you to get out of all those drug charges, Uncle Rush?...Do the child prostitutes in the Dominican Republic have fewer diseases than the ones in Guatemala?...Why do you need Viagra, anyway, Uncle Rush...all that Oxycontin have a side effect you didn't count on?"

And providence forbid you get related to Ann Coulter...Now there's a piece of work you never want your child exposed to. Why worry about them listening to Rap music lyrics with Coulter's foul mouth vomiting her diatribes?

Liberals try to treat everyone fairly. Not so Conservatives. Karl Rove has stated that the wives of his opponents are fairgame in his propaganda wars...even if they are serving our Nation as a CIA undercover operative, as in Valerie Plame's case. You and I mean nothing to a sociopath...and neither do our wives and children. It's only about them, you see.

Now, in their neer ending search for the depths of human behavior, the right wing has decided to attack the children of newspaper editors who dare to print things Conservatives don't like...You know...The Truth!

This is what conservatives are calling for in retribution for being identified as liars by the newspaper media:

"Go hunt* them down and do America a favor. Get their photo, street address, where their kids go to school, anything you can dig up, and send it to the link above."

And why? Conservative pundits know that their base is made up in part, of crazy people who will commit nearly any act against their enemies...

Conservative Thinking